Following the huge controversy that erupted in the campus of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in September last after the Kisan Mela (farmers’ fair) was completely washed off in the rain, the varsity is being extra precarious this time as again there are chances of rainfall on March 20 and 21.
The main campus fair is scheduled to be held on March 20 and 21 in Ludhiana and with the continuous uncertainty in weather conditions, the agro-meterology department of PAU has already informed the vice-chancellor office that it may rain on March 20 and 21.
In September last, PAU vice-chancellor B S Dhillon ordered transfer of two scientists, Sandeep Sandhu and Ritu. The transfers were done immediately a day after rain spoiled the whole mela and farmers and exhibitors suffered huge losses.
Agriculture Minister Tota Singh who was the then chief guest also pointed out some poorly maintained fields in PAU which further added to the issue.
On Monday, the kisan mela at Patiala at village Rauni by PAU was also affected due to rain. However, luckily, the rains were not heavy and the mela was conducted without major damage.
Sources from PAU confirmed that V-C office has already been informed about possibility of rain in coming days. “All arrangements have been made and the dates have been finalised but the weather forecast is not our favour. Last time we were at the receiving end despite the fact that we informed the extension department well in advance that it may rain on September 12. Two of teachers were transferred without any valid reason but this time we are not taking any chances,” said a PAU professor.
The weather prediction from Indian Meteorological Department Chandigarh says that it will remain cloudy till March 21.
R S Sidhu, director of extension, PAU, organising the mela said, “We are not taking any chance and keeping a close watch on the situation. Weather is expected to remain cloudy on March 20 and it may rain on March 21 as per the forecast. We will also check the timings as to when rain is actially expected on March 21. It is unlikely that mela dates will be postponed or changed but arrangements will be made accordingly. Luckily, today mela at Patiala was saved as it became sunny after light showers but we need to take precautions.”
PAU campus kisan mela, held twice a year is considered one of the largest in region with farmers from northern region throng the campus to get seeds for next sowing season.